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Had a scare with Daisy and another dog

Schwinn
January 24th, 2006, 11:13 AM
Last night, Mrs Schwinn had a scare. Daisy has always been leash aggressive, and last night she was out of control. Usually, Mrs Schwinn can move to the side, and have Daisy sit and wait for the other dog to pass, but last night she apparently went nuts, and when Mrs Schwinn grabbed Daisy with her free hand, Daisy turned on her as if she was about to bite her, realized who it was and stopped. Daisy has been rangy before, but apparently Mrs Schwinn was afraid of losing control of her this time. The other dog lunged back, so we came up with a few theories. 1)Protecting Gracie 2)protecting Mrs. Schwinn 2)protecting them both 3) Mrs Schwinn had Daisy on a little shorter leash than she normally would when the other dog went by, and she may have felt more restricted or 4)all of the above.

I've seen Daisy get a little growly, and I saw her go nuts when a dog lunged at me, but I'm significantly stronger than Mrs. Schwinn, so I can't say if Daisy was more or less out of control than ever before. I have a feeling not, this just may be the first time Mrs Schwinn ran into this.

Regardless, we need to do something. I don't want the only exercise Daisy gets anymore is running in the back yard, and it'd be nice to be able to go for a walk and not feel nervous about running into other dogs. Plus, it can't be pleasant for Daisy either. We've decided to look into one on one training for this specific problem, because we've tried a few things, and nothing seems to really work. That being said, we don't have big bucks to spend on training. A couple of questions. If we contact a trainer and let them know we are specifically looking for help with this problem, any idea if most trainers would offer some sort of money back guarantee (we're willing to put the money out for the betterment of both ours and Daisy's lives, we just don't want to waste it, since we're sure it won't be cheap), and anyone have any ideas of someone to contact in the Georgina-Newmarket area? There was someone who was in the paper about a pittie in Keswick a while ago, but I don't remember who it was.

Lissa
January 24th, 2006, 11:26 AM
I can't really give to many pointers because I am sorta in the same situation as you...

A book that has been a wonderful asset it "click to calm: healing the aggressive dog"...I can't say enough good things about this book - I have seen and experienced the results!

I hope you find something that works for you:fingerscr !

Joey.E.CockersMommy
January 24th, 2006, 11:31 AM
Dog agression issues are scary I dont have an answer for you except to say that we are working on similar issues with Joey right now. He is okay with some dogs but can't handle big male dogs on or off leash. Its probably hard for Mrs. Schwinn too as Daisy is a big dog, it scares me when Joey is aggressive with another dog and he is just a little guy. (Actually truthfully I more feel like a schmuck because my dog sometimes doesnt have good manners and I apologise profusely to the other owner) I am hoping to get some one on one help with this as well.

Good luck I will keep an eye an this thread to see what works for you. :)

Prin
January 24th, 2006, 11:39 AM
Why not just cross the street? When we had a vicious lab who would try to kill every dog we met, we'd just avoid the dogs. We didn't stop walking her (training wouldn't have helped this one). I'd avoid conflict, especially if Gracie is with you or your wife when you're walking her.

It's also the attitude. If you are nervous and uncertain, the dog will pick up on that vulnerability and add it to her reasons for attacking this dog.

happycats
January 24th, 2006, 12:55 PM
Isn't Adam stone in that area? I heard he does wonders with aggression.
Good luck and keep us posted

free
January 24th, 2006, 01:13 PM
we had karin apfel in for one session for other reasons then agression and have just started classes with her. she is in bradford and her card says she deals with behaviour problems. she is a member of the professional dog trainers. you can email her at apfel@sympatico.ca.

Schwinn
January 24th, 2006, 02:13 PM
The vet explained to us that it was more of a self-esteem issue. We've seen her act like the vicious dog of the block, then when she is off leash, seen her play and roll over for the same dog. It was explained to us that it wasn't so much an aggression issue as it is an issue of her being nervous and saying to other dogs, "Back off! I'm tough!" Kind of like puffing up your chest when you walk through a bad neighbourhood.

I wish it was as simple as crossing the street. Mrs Schwinn does do that, but there are times when it isn't that simple (sidewalk on one side, pinned in by snowbanks, other dog comes around the corner). Besides, it isn't the conflict that we want to avoid (well, we do, but...), it's the whole behaviour. Daisy will do it if she sees a dog across the street as well.

Thanks for ths suggestions, guys.

tenderfoot
January 24th, 2006, 06:52 PM
Crossing the street doesn't teach her how to behave and just perpetuates the problem. She senses your fear and insecurity and it magnifies hers.
We were working a HUGEMONGOUS (okay I know thats not a word - but he is SOOOOO big) Blk & Tan Con hound in this very issue just yesterday. He goes into full howl, lunges, stands on his hind legs and scares the pee out of everyone around.
Schwinn, I would recommend that you start the work. Take her for a walk on a short but loose leash (flat collar). Start doing heeling drills before you ever encounter another dog - get her in working mode and you in the leadership role. The second you see another dog turn into Daisy and do a 180 turn and go in the other direction. Go a few steps and do another 180 towards the dog. If one hair on her head changes when she sees the other dog then do it again. Keep going back and forth (cutting right into her space and making her move out of your way) and each time you should get a little closer until you can pass the dog with out incident. When she is good be sure to praise her with a soft voice and soft touch.
Basically you are taking charge of the walk, redirecting her energy, interrupting the thought to aggress, and letting her get used to the other dog as she practices being calm. Do not feel that you have to let her meet these dogs as she is not ready for it yet. As she senses that you are in charge and she will calm down because it is no longer her job to protect the family or herself. She will look to you for that protection and will start to breath easier over all.
I think it is rare for trainers to guarantee their work. We can have a training go great with a dog but if the people don't follow up or do the drills correctly then the dog won't be different for them. Its like teaching a parenting class and saying the parents will raise perfect children afterwards - not that simple.

mummummum
January 24th, 2006, 11:47 PM
No answers here, as I am encountering a similiar problem with Declan my new lad. I'm curious, does Daisy react in that manner with all dogs all the time on lead? The the odd thing I'm finding with Dec is the lack of consistency in his responses to other dogs. Monday night we saw a dog on lead across the street and he practically coughed up a hairball he was straining and leaping and barking and howling so much. Last night he looked over at a dog on lead, gave her a "Yo S'up?" and went back to being a snorfelupegous. Could it be a boy-boy or girl-girl but not a boy-girl or girl-boy thing? Do you ever get the sense that Daisy wants to meet the other dog but has to be acknowledged as The Boss first or is it a straight-up get outta my space behaviour? I'm thinking I may need to ask a friend with a dog to start standing on street corners so Declan and I can practice Tenderfoot's advice. What say those of us with leash-issues all meet up and practice on each other :crazy: - I have a few neighbours I wouldn't mind disturbing ! ha-ha-ha (sorry, must be post-election hysteria).

Prin
January 25th, 2006, 12:12 AM
What say those of us with leash-issues all meet up and practice on each other That's hilarious. A good idea in some ways though because you'd all understand and you wouldn't freak out at the other person...

Schwinn
January 25th, 2006, 10:24 AM
There doesn't seem to really be a pattern with it. Because Mrs. Schwinn does most of the walking, I honestly couldn't say. But what I think I have noticed is it depends on the other dogs reaction (unless it's a small dog, which she doesn't seem to like, for the most part). I've seen her tug and pull, and nothing really happen. But then, I've seen her go nuts, too. The only thing I can think of is that it seems to be that her reaction seems to be a magnification of the other dogs reaction. It happens so quick, it's tough to say. It seems to support the vet's theory that she's afraid and trying to "puff up her chest". Most dogs she's met when she's off leash she's gotten along with, except she plays rough sometimes. Then the other dog gets annoyed, and we separate them before it escalates. Or my parents dog, who she used to get along with until he went after a relative who was goofing off with my sister, who screamed, then Daisy tore her lead out of the cement wall trying to get at thier dog, who she thought was attacking my sister (did you follow that?). They never got along again.

We did try to introduce her to my buddies' Jack Russell, but that didn't go well. "Lester" is a little hyper, and when he jumped in her face and started nipping, she got all mean. Until that point, she was fine. Seems I have a dog with a self-esteem issue!:rolleyes:

Thanks for the advice Tenderfoot. I didn't think there'd be much chance of a gauruntee, and I wouldn't expect one if we came back at a later date and said, "She's still broke". I was thinking more of a situation where a trainer would work with her and finally say, "I can't fix this". I don't mean to be skeptical, and, to me, it's worth the cost whatever it is, but at the same time, we're worried about wasting out money.

Regardless, the method you've suggested is a different one than what we've tried so far, so we'll give that a shot. :thumbs up

tenderfoot
January 25th, 2006, 01:22 PM
As a trainer I would feel confident to say that yes we can help this dog - but again it is up to the people to make sure it sticks. That same Coon Hound I was talking about earlier is so frustrating to work with because the second we show up he is great and doesn't act up - but the second she is alone with him he goes nuts again. So it is hard to recreate the situation for us to help her.
This is because it is about the relationship YOU have with your dog not the one I can have. Daisy feels the need to protect everyone and she is smart and sensitive so she senses things before you do and remembers things that made her nervous in the past.
The unpredictable aspect of things means that you have to have your tools ready at all times and remind her that you are ready to take charge at any second. For a while you aren't going to be able to take things for granted. Like the teenager who occasionally breaks curfew - you are going to remind him every time he goes out when curfew is and what the consequences are for breaking it. After he proves that he can come home on time for months then you will feel better about trusting him to behave on his own. Same thing with Daisy. She needs to be told 'leave it' with every dog you see. She needs to be connected to you and guided through her decisions. As you notice that she is less reactive and you aren't having to guide her as much then you can start to relax and trust her more - but still not completely. There is possibly an element in her that requires you to stay alert and remind her whose in charge. She might be just insecure enough that she needs your confidence to help her through.
This is also about correcting her bad choices and rewarding the good ones - just like you would with a child with bad manners.

Catt31
January 25th, 2006, 07:56 PM
Holy Cow Schwinn!! Sounds EXACTLY like what we are going through with Brick - 70 lbs of sheer muscle! He doesn't lunge for the dogs to be aggressive, he wants to see them...but the behaviour is the same - pulling, tugging, being completely silly...then when I snap his leash to get him back in "heel" mode, he jumps up at me & tries to nip & lick (totally pisses me off, so I get mad, and we turn around and walk the other way) We had a one on one trainer (unfortunately she is here in Calgary) who was awesome, but we still haven't been able to break him of that. He doesn't care who is in control at that point. Tenderfoot gave you the same advice that we were given, just keep walking and doing 180 turns until she settles & can do it without freaking. It took Brick & I about 40 minutes to get to the end of our block because there were kids playing street hockey (his infatuation with kids & balls....yikes) And it is definately body language.... Brick would always freak at one house where this lab lived & pull & go crazy, so everytime we walked by I would tense up & he would freak...once I stopped tensing up, he was fine. My husband says it is because Brick knows I'm not the dominant one - and so he isn't as well behaved with me as he is with Tim - but I don't know how to break that & get him to think I'm more dominant than my hubby since I walk him more.....maybe that is what Daisy is thinking too???

Joey's Mommy - Brick is like that at the off leash park...1 in 20 dogs he will have a hate on for....and it is embarassing when your dog forgets his manners when you KNOW he knows them & is usually always pretty darn good!!! UGH!!!Brick HATES it when I pet other dogs at the park, so now that I know, I avoid it & it has totally lessened the conflicts!!

Tenderfoot - your training methods sound a lot like our trainer here too & that is awesome!! I know I'm not as consistent as I should be.....but I've been getting better at it! I think Brick is like Daisy.....he just needs to be constantly reminded like a toddler who wants to touch that Ming Vase you have on display!! LOL

Good luck Schwinn!! Who needs kids when you have dogs like ours??? (How is Gracie by the way??) LOL

babyrocky1
January 25th, 2006, 08:46 PM
Schwinn, I am assuming Daisy is muzzled, could this be aggravating the problem? Rocky reacted a little that way when he was first wearing his muzzle and encountered another large breed dog. Hes pretty good now, he still hates his muzzle but it doesn't seeem to affect his reactions to other dogs, although, no dog has approached him in an aggressive manner, he might be more sensative to that with a muzzle on. Could that be a contributing factor? Since we have been doing group walks, Rocky has become more comfortable with other dogs again. Even meeting new dogs is easier and he seems to enjoy it more. How much doggy socialization does Daisy get?

Schwinn
January 26th, 2006, 10:54 AM
No, she isn't muzzled. The vets have her listed as Rottie X, and the local by-law officer has met her and concurred, and has licensed her the same.

I don't think it's a dominant issue, as she is actually more obediant with my wife. But it is EXACTLY like a little kid, as Tenderfoot said. I've often said that Daisy is a very good dog, but when she gets wound up, she "forgets" and will misbehave, and then when we raise our voice, it gets her attention and she's back to being a good doggy again. Most times we find it amusing, because we're sure if she could talk, as soon as we correct her for anything, she'd say, "Oh yea. Sorry". It is only because I'm much stronger than my wife that it seemed so bad for her. With me, as soon as she starts to get out of control, I'd pull her back and make her sit, and stand in front of her so she can't see the other dog.

When she was at the vet for a few days, (who she loves, and is absolutely awesome), they said that she was "cage-fighting". She'd be fine with other dogs, but when she was in her kennel and another dog came by, she would go nuts, and her whole kennel would shake. The vet explained that, again, it's her way of saying "back off! I'm tough" when she was scared.

As for socialization, she has rare opportunity. We don't have any nearby friends with dogs, but when she is with dogs of a similar size, she seems okay, and seems to enjoy the interaction. She sometimes gets a little too hyper for them, and they get growly, but that's because she tires them out, and we separate them before things get carried away. It's only with little dogs, and when she's "restricted" in some manner (on leash, in kennel)

Oh, and Gracie's awesome. I've got some pictures from our Florida trip I'll be annoying you all with soon!:D

Gazoo
January 26th, 2006, 12:18 PM
Why not just cross the street? When we had a vicious lab who would try to kill every dog we met, we'd just avoid the dogs. We didn't stop walking her (training wouldn't have helped this one). I'd avoid conflict, especially if Gracie is with you or your wife when you're walking her.

It's also the attitude. If you are nervous and uncertain, the dog will pick up on that vulnerability and add it to her reasons for attacking this dog.


good advice Prin...IMHO sometimes there is no quick or easy training solution for some problems

Gazoo
January 26th, 2006, 12:20 PM
Crossing the street doesn't teach her how to behave .


No but it does avoid the dogfight and the subsequent lawsuit :thumbs up

tenderfoot
January 26th, 2006, 01:07 PM
Hi Gazoo - I also said that she didn't have the right to meet the other dogs yet because she is not ready. You can share a sidewalk without letting the dogs meet. Teaching a dog how to behave properly when encountering other dogs will go further in the 10-15 years of it's life than avoiding the situation and having 10-15 years of conflict and fear.
I do understand your point but do we let fear run our lives or do we take charge?

Gazoo
January 26th, 2006, 01:15 PM
Hi Gazoo - I also said that she didn't have the right to meet the other dogs yet because she is not ready. You can share a sidewalk without letting the dogs meet. Teaching a dog how to behave properly when encountering other dogs will go further in the 10-15 years of it's life than avoiding the situation and having 10-15 years of conflict and fear.
I do understand your point but do we let fear run our lives or do we take charge?

I think we're on the same page...